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Darling Girl Short Film Review


Directed by: Victoria Smith

Written by: Victoria Smith, Connor Dunham, Vanessa Casertano

Starring: Hannah Knight, Katie Mae Carden


In Victoria Smith’s Darling Girl, Ada (Hannah Knight) searches for solace in the arms of the theatre. The short opens with Ada’s mother shouting in the distance. On the screen, we witness an unhappy face belonging to Ada. It’s apparent that this house is boiling with trouble. Your suspicions are confirmed when Ada’s mother enters the room. Those who want to spend time in peace should stay away from situations that place this duo against each other. The mother-daughter shout and squawk not only because of hatred but also because there exists a distance between them. They resort to yelling in order to make themselves heard by the other person.

Ada wants to be an actor. She desires to do drama and perform on stage. Her mother, however, protests. She believes her daughter lacks the talent to break into the industry. God save us from this type of motherly inspiration. It hits hard when someone close to you doesn’t trust in your capabilities. There is a fleeting instant where we see Ada’s mother regretting the spill of discouragement from her lips. It’s entirely possible that the reason she stops Ada from pursuing a career in acting is that she wants to protect her child from severe heartbreak, which would collapse her if she fails to achieve her dream.

But Ada is determined, and nothing could change her course. This is what she had always wanted to do, and she takes her shot by auditioning for the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Much like how every member in the audience brings in his instincts and experiences with himself while settling in to watch a movie, the actors, too, bring in certain observations while doing their job. In the audition, as Ada enunciates her dialogues, she derives her anger and frustration for the part from her real-life vexation with her mother. The camera turns dynamic, swings to and fro in a floating motion as if trying to keep up with her.

Darling Girl loses some strength in the technical department. There are times when you spot a gap between two scenes as it becomes clear where the cut actually happened. Sometimes, you make out that an actor is walking on cue as if she had just heard “ACTION!” Smith has the talent and ambition for making good movies. She just needs to polish her technical skills.



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